Blair was around on Friday to show off a little bit. Unlike Entrenchment, there's really nothing visual to show, since it's mostly just the back-end code stuff. The new treaty screen looks good and it should let you see who has what treaties with whom (a pretty requested feature since even back in beta). He didn't say much about what changes pirates would get, but a few of us tossed around some ideas that might show up (spending money to upgrade pirates' ships, stuff like that).
The preorder should've gone up on Friday according to Yarlen, but it looks like it didn't, and they're aiming for the beta this fall. I expect it'll be around the same length as the Entrenchment beta.